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June 26, 2022

Col(l)ectiv(e) drama

Collective drama. Does it exist, or can it be gregariously integrated?

In history, there are millions of reasons for drama. Wars, plagues, hunger, drought, earthquakes or simply people, have generated just as many reasons for suffering and drama over the centuries.

However, although this suffering has impacted hundreds, thousands or millions of human beings, the drama remains – even in terms of sociological and psychological study – a punctual, exclusive, limited phenomenon stored in the particular memory of each individual.

Because each person feels, understands and experiences any event in an entirely personal way.

Two years ago, on a night at the end of October, several hundred youths were attending a concert given by the Goodbye Gravity band in one of Bucharest’s nightclubs.

Nothing more natural for some people who, theoretically, have all reasons and arguments in the universe to believe that life is just beginning and that the future, no matter how sad and imponderable it might look in light of the truth of life in Romania, can be made to sound and look better.

On that night at the end of October, the destiny of those people present in the nightclub of death was to suddenly take a terrifying direction.

It was said that the fire was the one that transformed the lives of the youth from Colectiv into suffering, drama and ash.

Man and fire were in fact that evil hand of hazard that played over two hundred destinies at the lottery of life.

Sixty-four of them lost and paid with their lives. Dozens more lost any trace of confidence in people and gained a trauma whose consequences and repercussion will exist for the rest of their lives. They survived. However, death is permanently present in every fibre and cell of their living being.

In fact, during that night in Colectiv, we all lost.

Because the drama of those inside Colectiv reflects a much bigger and more terrifying drama – the national drama.

Corruption kills! Just like indifference and the monstrous character of the political actors sitting at the helm of the Romanian state have been killing in forms and degrees that are impossible to imagine, continuously, for decades.

Colectiv remains an apex, an absolute sample of what the essence of politics made in Romania means – fire is good, man is bad.

The man who knew and knows that fire, water, wind, rain, the sun, a house, a road, a roof, a tree, a street banner, an earthquake or another man can end up being a weapon of mass destruction as long as its good purpose is converted into an evil purpose. Thieving, lying, manipulating, or simply ignoring the truth of the many are just as many sources of evil and of personal and collective drama. The continuous deceiving of the trust of those who sent you in office and who are backing you with their own lives so as to make their lives safe and to make sure they have a present and a future causes the same ravages as a fourth-degree burn.

Politics concerns the people. But not politicians and their world. It concerns people without whom politics and its people could never exist.

And we owe those from Colectiv – sons, daughters, husbands, wives, parents, families – what we owe ourselves too: an answer. Other than the “that’s life!” answer that politicians throw over their shoulders, on their way to celebrating another good, prosperous, and entirely safe year in the life of other politicians.

For those who had and have an answer to the collective and personal drama from Colectiv, life went on. An excellent life. A life in which suffering, drama and death leave far too little traces and a lot of indifference and forgetfulness. They are the politicians.

A species apart. Which is reborn out of ashes and collective drama, every time stronger and more immune to fire, water, wind, earthquakes, or any other disaster or natural or human plague.

Back then, on that October night and the days that followed, politicians laid symbolic offerings, fulfilling a “sacrifice” just as symbolical on the Colectiv altar.

A Government toppled and several political faces and names put behind the curtain. A lot of press, too much press. Statements. Justifications. Exculpations. Accusations and again exculpations. A nation frozen before the grotesque, absurd and unending war between politicians and Romanians, this time waged on the field of the real, incalculable, and irredeemable drama of dozens of youths turned into just as many dramas.

Tens of thousands of Romanians taking to the streets. A new revolution. A new Government gifted to Romanians. One that surpassed the idea of transitional and transition and reached the absurdness of the political definition – the APOLITICAL technocrats of Romanian politics.

The Col(l)ectiv(e) drama has reached a new level.

“I cannot forget the context in which a politically-independent Government was sworn-in back then. (…) In these conditions, I accepted to lead an independent Government during that elections year. With the hope that, during that governance, politicians would change their criteria of selection, conduct, of relating to citizens and to public funds.

“Those who took to the streets in the autumn of 2015, and probably many others too – maybe not sufficient yet? –, expected the year of independent governance to be used to understand the lessons learnt, to carry out internal clarifications within the parties, to reset the political class and the way of doing politics.

“That’s what I thought too.”

These are the thoughts and words, two years after the #Colectiv event, of the man who “accepted” his name and person to remain associated, in Romania’s history and in the collective history, with a drama and with one of the most seductive and problematic political paradox ever – politics done by people who pretend and declare themselves to be outside politics – Dacian Ciolos.

And this is the point from which the collective drama of the whole of Romania has surpassed the upper limit of the apolitical governance paradox, going back to the point it started from 28 years ago.

A new Government. Another one. A left-wing one and extremely well-anchored in politics this time. As required by Romanian tradition and as the political and social thinking and trends of most Romanians turn out to be in fact.

The Romanian people seems to have a natural vocation for drama and its blowback. Occasionally and deferentially, we mourn our victims who became heroes. We are angry and fed up with drama and the eternal return to the point which it seems we never left 28 years ago.

However, we are completely paralysed in the face of real change when the time comes for us to act and to change from the ground up the whole system and the whole political class.

In the streets, one next to another and TOGETHER with thousands and tens of thousands of people, it seems we know, we remember for a few hours or days what we want and how or what we should do so that the change, the eternal change we have been waiting for decades, would occur.

Then, by ourselves, at the ballot box or at home, in front of the television sets, we suddenly forget, or the same fear, doubt and despair takes hold of us. We feel powerless, defeated, and useless. The change is postponed.

We continue to accept what they are telling us, or we revolt for naught.

Politics and politicians are going forward on the same level.

Only the collective and personal drama of everyone and of each one of us shifts from moment to moment, year after year, on another level. One that is increasingly difficult to accept and overcome.

“Maybe we simply should no longer wait for others to bring about change.” – Dacian Ciolos

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